Lamont Proposes Eliminating Some Job Licensing Fees
Gov. Ned Lamont’s fiscal 2025 budget adjustment proposals will include the elimination of license application fees for certain education, childcare, and healthcare jobs.
Lamont said the proposed $3.5 million cut in licensing fees is designed to boost employment in high-demand sectors impacted by the state’s labor shortage.
“There are many job openings in essential fields that employers need to fill, and by eliminating these licensure application fees we can help encourage those who are seeking employment to consider entering a career in these sectors,” he said in a Jan. 31 statement.
“I am hopeful that legislators will agree and vote to approve these fee reductions.”
The targeted fees range from $15 for home childcare staff to $200 for educator certificates and advanced practice registered nurse licenses.
CBIA vice president of public policy Chris Davis welcomed the proposal, noting that licensing fees remain a barrier to employment.
“We feel this is a very positive step, and feel that we can do even more,” Davis said.
“CBIA looks forward to working with the administration and legislators to reduce these costs in additional trades and occupations and streamline licensing processes.”
Reducing and capping occupational license fees are among the priorities featured in CBIA’s 2024 policy solutions, which were released Feb. 1.
Davis said licensing fees “serve as a barrier of entry into many occupations and trades, often forcing people to make difficult choices.”
“We’d ultimately like to cap fees for all licenses issued by the Department of Consumer Protection so individuals can concentrate on pursuing their chosen career pathways,” he said.
Barrier to Entry
Connecticut’s labor force—those working and those actively looking for work—declined by 14,300 people last year and is down 37,900 people from pre-pandemic levels.
Meanwhile, job openings have increased by 21% to 85,000 since February 2020, with the labor shortage continuing to impact economic growth.
A November 2022 Institute for Justice study of 102 occupations showed that Connecticut required 64% of those to have a license, exceeding the national average by 53%.
The average fee for an occupational license in Connecticut is $290, which again exceeds the national average.
Those fees range from $1,010 for a public preschool teacher to $0 for a number of occupations, including animal trainer and landscape contractor.
Applicants also bear significant costs for the thousands of educational hours required to apply for a state license.
The study ranked Connecticut the most 15th burdensome state for occupational licensing, faring worse than Massachusetts and New York.
The governor’s proposal targets the following changes:
- Eliminating the initial application fee for educator certificates. Administered by the State Department of Education, this fee costs $200 and generates about $1 million annually.
- Eliminating the initial application fee for home childcare licenses. Administered by the Office of Early Childhood, the fee costs $40, while the initial application fee for staff costs $15. Combined, they generate about $20,000 annually.
- Eliminating the initial application fee for registered nurse licenses. Administered by the Department of Public Health, this fee costs $180 and generates more than $2 million annually.
- Eliminating the initial application fee for practical nurse licenses. Administered by DPH, this fee costs $150 and generates about $174,300 annually.
- Eliminating the initial application fee for advanced practice registered nurse licenses. Administered by DPH, this fee costs $200 and generates about $260,000 annually.
The governor is scheduled to present his budget revisions Feb. 7 when the 2024 General Assembly session convenes.
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